Last year, Emma Watson and Millie Bobby Brown made history by winning gender-neutral acting awards at the MTV Movie & TV Awards, the first ever in the show’s history. This year, stars on the show’s red carpet made it clear: There’s no looking back.
“We don’t need to separate,” Black Panther’s Winston Duke told The Hollywood Reporter about the move to gender-neutral awards while on the carpet Saturday night (June 16) outside the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. “We have to be inclusive about how we celebrate people’s work. It’s a very brave step into the future that we’re all asking for.”
At Monday’s awards ceremony, Saiorse Ronan and Daisy Ridley are up for best performance in a movie alongside Ansel Elgort, Timothee Chalamet and Chadwick Boseman. The best performance in a show category features four women — Maisie Williams, Issa Rae, Katherine Langford and Brown — and Darren Criss.
Gender-neutral awards are only one way Hollywood is looking to make changes to promote inclusivity. At the 2018 Academy Awards, Frances McDormand shed light on inclusion riders, a requirement in a particular talent’s contract to have a certain level of gender and racial diversity on set. Since the speech, stars including Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson have been vocal about inclusion riders being the new norm.
Avengers: Infinity War co-director Joe Russo, who recently launched the new studio AGBO with his brother Anthony, told The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday that inclusion riders will be a point of emphasis at the company, adding that it’s up to Hollywood now to set the new standard.
“It is our job to be as inclusive as possible, whether that be through race or gender or sexual orientation. It’s 1,000 percent incumbent on us to lead the way,” Russo said. He went on to say that gender-neutral awards should be adopted at other awards ceremonies moving forward.